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1 comments | Friday, November 30, 2007



Tomorrow across the globe millions of people will be observing World Aids Day. Since the beginning of the epidemic in the early 80's HIV/AIDS has claimed the lives of over 30 million people. Once considered to be a disease that only affected white gay men in the largely populated cities of San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York, HIV/AIDS has now positioned itself to become the third leading cause of death in the United States.

In the spring of 1981 doctors were diagnosing a rare outbreak of Kaposi Sarcoma in otherwise healthy young gay men. The disease that was ravaging their bodies was given the name G.R.I.D.(Gay Related Immune Deficiency). Fear and pandemonium spread across the country like a wildfire.
Doctors were unsure of how the disease was transmitted and the lack of knowledge led to widespread fear of contracting HIV/AIDS from mere casual contact.



If the virus didn't kill those infected quickly, the emotional stress and social isolation definitely took a toll on those infected with the virus. Fundamentalists such as Jerry Falwell and Pat Buchanan used this as an opportunity for political gain and to demonize the gay community by leading the majority to believe that AIDS was a punishment from God to all homosexuals. This was the beginning of the culture war spearheaded by the religious right.



President Ronald Regan allowed 6 years to go by before he even addressed AIDS to the nation in May of 1987. Thousands of deaths had occured and new infections were on the rise. With no cure in sight and only one medication on the market, AZT turned out to be as bad if not worse than the virus itself.

Fast forward to the early 90's. The public's fear of contracting HIV/AIDS casually has subsided and the facts about transmission are clear. Notable celebrities such as Magic Johnson disclose their HIV status and Tom Hanks wins an Oscar for his portrayal of a person dying from AIDS in the film Philadelphia. AIDS begins to have a face and it starts to look less like the stereotypical white gay man and more like the person you see in the mirror.


Luna


In 1996 the FDA approved the first effective combination therapy and the number of AIDS related deaths began to decrease dramatically. AIDS was no longer considered to be a death sentence.

But with the development of life saving drugs, complacency soon followed. Today HIV/AIDS is a Black disease that's infecting women and Black gay men at alarming rates. There is a pandemic in Africa but if we don't committ ourselves to eradicating this virus here as well as abroad we could be facing a new challenge right here at home.



Last night I had the opportunity to chat with Larry Bryant , National Field Organizer for Housing Works in D.C. and a 21 year HIV survivor. I first met Larry at The Campaign To End Aids Youth Action Institute in Chicago. Although he comes across very shy in person, the moment he opens his mouth to speak he exudes the kind of wisdom and self love that can only be attained after you've been through something and lived to tell your story.




My Interview with Larry Bryant

Darian: When were you diagnosed Larry?

Larry: I was diagnosed with HIV in 1986. I'd given blood and The Red Cross informed me that I'd contracted HIV.

Darian: How did you react when you heard the news?

Larry: My initial reaction was disbelief and shock. When I was diagnosed this was a disease that the media led people to believe only affected white gay men and at the time the doctor only gave me nine years to live.

Darian: Did you attend a support group to deal with your status?

Larry: At the time I didn't lean on anybody. They didn't have the pre & post test counseling they have now, and I wasn't encouraged to attend a support group. I was given a pamphlet on HIV/AIDS and told to have a good day, and given the stigma that was attached to the virus I probably wouldn't have gone.

Darian: Prior to contracting HIV how much did you know about the virus and did you believe you were at risk?

Larry: The most I knew about the virus is what I was reading in the newspaper. The images I saw were people in their last stages of life. Rock Hudson revealing he had AIDS and appearing borderline emaciated on television. Overall it was still considered a white gay male disease.

Darian: Do you find that most people assume you're gay when you disclose your HIV status?

Larry: I'm secure with myself, so people's perceptions don't affect me. I just let people believe what they want because we know a person's orientation has nothing to do with their HIV status. I don't go out of my way to let people know I'm straight. I think it's more important to let people know that I'm human.

Darian: Looking back do you think you could have protected yourself better?

Larry: Yeah, looking back I think there's always more that you can do. Becoming HIV positive is not a measure of your promiscuity, it only takes one time.

Darian: What advice can you give to someone who is newly diagnosed?

Larry: Take a deep breath and don't allow yourself to die spiritually when you hear the news. HIV/AIDS is not a death sentence. Get into a support group, if you're not strong enough to handle the diagnosis on your own then surround yourself with people who are strong. Plan for the future and get on with life.

Darian: Thanks Larry.

HIV/AIDS Resources
Black Aids Institute
POZ
The Body
Gay Men's Health Crisis

Support World AIDS Day

1 comments | Thursday, November 29, 2007



Just in case you missed last night's CNN/YouTube debate where the Republican candidates were asked questons by regular citizens on topics from immigration to healthcare and of course the war in Iraq. I've got footage from one of the most interesting questions of the night from retired Brigadier Gen. Keith Kerr, a man who served the military for 43 years and who is now openly gay.

The candidates stated they all believed that allowing gays to serve openly would be bad for "unit cohesion" and the current policy has worked for years so there was no need to change it. I find it obsurd that Republicans and Americans who are in favor of DADT don't think gay and lesbian officers are capable of separating their professional and private lives.

Also take a moment and view the clip below to see the horrible position this policy puts gay and lesbian soldiers in. If you watched The Real World New Orleans a few years ago then you might remember gay cast member Danny and his military boyfriend Paul. Due to DADT Paul was never seen on the show but later left the military and came out publicly.

0 comments | Wednesday, November 28, 2007



Ladies and gentleman the wait for Maurice Jamal's new film "Dirty Laundry" is almost over. On December 7th the family comedy will open in New York and Los Angeles and in select cities across the country on December 28th. I've personally been waiting for the nationwide release for over a year after being fortunate enough to see it during LA's Outfest in 2006. This is such an important film that I think the entire family should see. For the first time in years a story involving a black family with a gay character who is central to the storyline will be on screens all over America and will no doubt spark discussions and heal wounds. Click here for a synopsis.

In a recent interview with Next Magazine, producer Nathan Hale Wiliams had this to say;" It's almost as if black families have a 'don't ask, don't tell policy,'" he says of the avoidance tactics regarding gay relatives. All gay men regardless of color need to stand up and be proud. "We wanted to get the message out! The media doesn't focus enough on the black family. It's a problem because we manifest the images we see. We might have more visibility in this post-Will & Grace-era, Noah's Arc socio-cultural world, but "there are still not many healthy images of gay people of color, which makes it hard for all of us to understand the experiences of the gay minority, be they Latino, black [or] Asian."

The film stars Rockmond Dunbar, Loretta Devine, Jennifer Lewis, Terri J. Vaughn, Sommore, and Maurice Jamal. I urge everyone reading this post to run out to the theater when Dirty Laundry arrives in your town and support this film not just because it's one of few films that was made with our community in mind, but because it's an amazing piece of work from beginning to end.




While there's a huge amount of people anticipating the film's release there's also detractors. Keith Boykin reports a website called Gay Christian Movement Watch who is upset about Dr. Bobby Jones' brief appearance in the film as a minister. The site is dedicated to "exposing" the progressive doctrine of "homosexual churches and ministers" who believe in inclusion rather than discrimination based on sexual orientation. The website creator and moderator says, "Bobby Jones’ support and participation in this movie is indeed an attack on the church and the sexual moral standards which God requires us to adhere to."

In a statement given last year Dr. Jones said he was enthusiastic about the film and his appearance as he believed it would serve as an aid in healing both the black and gay communities.

I applaud the courage of Dr. Bobby Jones for participating in this film and Maurice Jamal for bringing it to the masses. As for "Gay Christian Movement Watch" they've made it painfully obvious how difficult it is for traditionalists to accept change and God's word for all of his people...so sad. Let us pray and run out to see Dirty Laundry !

1 comments | Tuesday, November 27, 2007





December is right around the corner and so is the new holiday issue from Clik Magazine. Brace yourselves for one of the hottest issues of Clik ever! I know you're probably saying my opinion is biased because I work for the magazine...and there may be some truth to that (lol!) but it really is a great issue. Inside you'll find politics with Barack Obama, health and beauty tips, an amazing 2007 holiday buying guide for everyone on your list, a list of must-read books by black gay authors, hot music and movies, and a section geared specifically towards black gay youth.

I must mention my article on one of my favorite couples, Tony and James. If you haven't heard about these guys and their new reality show "Our Lives Exposed" set to debut in 2008 then you are in for a real treat. You'll get to read all about their 7 year relationship and their new project in the December issue.

But in the meantime feel free to check out their website to learn more about them and to view the trailer for their show( you'll have to wait a few seconds for the page to load).

And because I'm so excited that Tony and James are brave enough to open up their lives to the world I'm supporting them anyway I can by spreading the word, if you can do the same please do.

Listen to an exclusive excerpt from our interview here.

14 comments




If you've been watching BET's new reality gospel competition Sunday Best for the past few weeks then you probably know all about Jermaine Sellers. With his hip-hop persona and crazy vocal range, on the surface he looks like he would be right at home singing R&B or pop music, but God obviously had another plan.

Born and raised in Joliet, Illinois, he now calls Atlanta home. His amazing gift earned him a spot in the final three with fellow competitors Shari Addison and Crystal Aiken. Last night Jermaine's road to Sunday Best came to an end leaving the two ladies to compete for the title.

I'm sure you're wondering why I chose to write about Jermaine seeing how this competition isn't in alignment with the theme of my blog? Well with talent comes speculation and with speculation comes controversy and Jermaine hasn't been a stranger to either.

When I first heard Jermaine sing I was drawn to him because of his amazing vocal ability and his style. Not to forget to mention his good looks. Honestly, my gaydar went off and usually my gaydar is never wrong. But I don't know Jermaine personally so I can't say for certain which team he plays on nor is it really that important. But what I do know about Jermaine Sellers is that he's anointed and has a voice that's definitely a gift from God.

Unfortunately, that hasn't stopped some self-righteous Christians from shunning his gift, calling on him to repent, and rejoicing in his exit from Sunday Best. Why? Many believe Jermaine has a "homosexual spirit". So now it's a spirit? If there is any truth to this claim then allow me to add that this very same spirit ushered the spirit of the holy ghost into churches everywhere whenever Rev. James Cleveland, Donnie McClurkin, Kurt Carr, Donald Lawrence, Bebe Winans, or Tonex opened up their mouths to minister through song and the list goes on and on.

BET's own message board has been filled with anti-gay comments directed at Jermaine and indirectly at anyone who identifies as gay and Christian.

I find it offensive that some of my people are so comfortable living in denial that they refuse to deal with the reality that black gays and lesbians exist in our families, churches and even in our gospel cd collections, and Jermaine Sellers with his amazing gift may be the newest addition.

Jermaine's voice is so beautiful he could be recording an album with any major hip-hop producer that would reach the masses but he has chosen to sing for God. Regardless of what his sexuality is for once let's lift up one of our own and realize that God can use anyone to spread his message and it looks like he's chosen Jermaine.

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This video by fellow blogger ShawnQT was so damn heart-warming I couldn't resist posting it here even after it's been floating around the blogosphere for a week. You'll want to call up your best friend(s) and tell him how much you love and appreciate him. I had the pleasure of meeting Shawn a couple of weeks ago in New York and he's just as genuine in person as his delivery is in this video. Shawn I haven't forgotten about the deal we made, youre not off the hook yet! Enjoy the video!

4 comments | Sunday, November 25, 2007



This post was inspired by a wonderful video rant by B. Scott.

No fems, no queens. If you log onto just about any personals site you’re bound to see the aforementioned characteristics listed as undesirable traits in a man or a prospective mate. They’ve been replaced by thug, down-low, masculine top, and other popular adjectives in this hip-hop driven world that we live in that has somehow permeated itself into black gay culture.

The idea of a man whether he’s straight or gay embracing his feminine side publicly has long brought about harassment and condemnation from a society that clearly defines gender roles.

Gay people have been the punch line for stand up comedians, late night talk show hosts, big budget Hollywood films, and countless sketch comedy shows. Who could forget the infamous Blaine and Antoine from In Living Color’s “Men On Film"? If you didn’t personally know any gay people you probably would’ve believed that we all wore Chanel # 5, dressed in drag, had a limp wrist, and gave everything we considered fierce two snaps up. Let’s blame sheer ignorance for the massive amount of heterosexual people who believed the stereotype and thought they had us all figured out. But surely our own would recognize and respect the fact that our community is extremely diverse and reject the notion to oppress a part of our identity in order to elevate another, right? Wrong.

I’ve been told it comes down to personal preference when someone deliberately chooses not to befriend or become romantically involved with a man that is effeminate or considered by the untrained eye; “clockable”. That may be the case but could it also be possible that the effeminate man being who he is, unable to hide his sexuality, is a threat to those who are closeted and undoubtedly struggling with their identity? After all it takes a strong man to STRUT in his truth 24/7 with the threat of physical harm constantly hanging over his head.

This is particularly troubling in the black community where an effeminate man is often considered a disgrace to his race and ultimately a waste. Who created the rule that a man should be measured on his hyper-masculine appearance, swagger, or his ability to effectively put a ball in a hole?

It’s a sad but obvious truth that LGBT people not only face discrimination from those outside of the community, but our own brothers and sisters are guilty of the same offenses based on our differences, the same differences that makes us all so unique. Our transgender brothers and sisters are all too familiar with this cruel reality.

I must admit I’m not the most masculine man you’ll meet (yes, I can queen out with the best), yet I’m not the most effeminate either, I’m somewhere in the middle and I’ve always been fine with that. Why? Because I’ve always had a strong sense of self-worth and I developed a thick skin early after being on the receiving end of numerous anti-gay slurs.

Many people argue that effeminate men send the wrong message about who we are as gay men (usually the masculine tops). I agree their definitely needs to be more diversity in the media and I think some progress has been made. For every Jack (Will & Grace) character there’s also a Wade (Noah’s Arc) to provide balance and show the world just how diverse our community really is.

There will always be fem boys, stud girls, and gay men and lesbians who fall into the more traditional gender roles. But I believe we owe it to ourselves as a community to shed our own personal prejudices, and reject the idea that a man is inferior if he is flamboyant or openly identifies as gay. While we are busy putting people into boxes the opposition is quickly devising a plan to keep the LGBT community separate and unequal. I don't know about you but the latter is the battle I'm choosing.

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Black gays and lesbians are everywhere, including black colleges and universities, but whether or not we're out is a totally different story. African-Americans have long been labeled more homophobic than any other group of people and in the past I've been quick to refute this belief, but now I pause before jumping to the defense of some of my people who have shown nothing more than hostility and resentment towards black gays and lesbians. The same homophobia that we experience in our families, churches, schools, and neighborhoods have traveled with many students to institutions of higher learning often making it difficult for gay and lesbian students to feel safe about coming out.

In an article published in The Maroon Tiger, (but conveniently and suspiciously pulled from their website) a student newspaper on the campus of Morehouse College, writer Kendrick Daye examines life as a gay Morehouse man through the experience of openly gay student Vincent Allen. “I feel I’m not wanted because of my sexuality,” senior Vincent Allen said. “I sat on a panel about homophobia last year and I was told gay students make Morehouse look bad and I think [that students' remarks] represents the sentiments of a lot of students here.”

Past incidents on Morehouse's campus support Allen’s observations. In 2002, then junior Gregory Love was struck with a baseball bat for supposedly glancing at another student in the shower. According to Love, the attacking student said he hated Morehouse and “faggots” before striking Love in the head, back and, shoulder.

Many students cite Morehouse's religious background as the reason for its homophobic environment. Due to the schools Baptist values, there exist conservative attitudes about sexuality.

Allen said the homophobic environment has to do with Morehouses strict adherence to gender roles. “Our community has strict rules about what to do [and] because you’re a deviant from the norm you’re ostracized,” the psychology major said. I think our ideas of masculinity are [narrower]. “I think I do fit in. I don’t fit in to this idea of what a Morehouse Man is supposed to be and what a lot of that has to do with the idea of what a black man is supposed to be.”

Howard University's student newspaper The Hilltop recently ran a controversial article where they attempted to "understand" the homosexual population on campus but only ended up demonizing their gay and lesbian peers. Student writer Kailyn Hart was completely off base with this one:

"For many students college life may be a safe haven to experience homosexual desires. Within the confines of Howard University, students are concerned with the high number of bisexual and/or gay men and women. Due to mixed feelings and fast spreading rumors, students are paranoid about the notion of homosexual relations taking place at Howard University," said Kailyn in the opening line of her article.

According to J. Garrison, a psychology major who has been researching case studies about homosexual behavior over the last two years, homosexual behavior is normal."

"People become aroused by images because they mentally connect certain body parts to sex," he said.

Garrison also believes that homosexuality is a preference or choice, and that a person can choose not to be gay.

"Most who claim to be gay are addicted to the feelings of belonging or interpersonal interaction they get when they indulge in same-sex relationships," Garrison said.

His statement can be supported by psychologist Dr. Paul Cameron, Ph.D., chairman of the Family Research Institute.

"According to [psychoanalysis], homosexuality is a mental illness, symptomatic of arrested development," Cameron said. "People believe that homosexual desires are a consequence of poor familial relations in childhood or some other trauma."

I honestly don't think I've ever read such a poorly written and researched article like this one in my life. I would definitely advise you to read it in it's entirety on Howard's website. I'm actually surprised the editor hasn't removed it due to embarrassment. If Ms. Kailyn Hart had done her research she would have known that Dr. Paul Cameron was thrown out of the American Psychological Association in 1983 for consistently misrepresenting facts about research regarding homosexuality.

I'm just glad that not all of the Howard student body shares Hart's views. Check out their response to her article here. All of this from a group of people who knows what the sting of oppression feels like...we've got to do better.

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I have to admit that I love to hate on Beyonce. The mega star singer is super talented and extremely over exposed. In one breathI'm commenting on her mother Tina Knowles' tacky House of Dereon designs that Beyonce is constantly wearing on the red carpet and in the next breath I'm humming "Irreplaceable". Say what you will about Beyonce but no one can deny that she is a bonafide star with the work ethic of Joe Jackson, and she proves it in her newly released DVD, The Beyonce Experience.

Beyonce gives her fans two hours and ten minutes of non-stop high energy performing. I'm kicking myself for refusing to pay over one hundred dollars to see her in concert (Janet is the only artist that has ever gotten that much out of me for a concert) because actually it would have been worth it. The only problem with watching it on DVD is the excitement of experiencing the show live cannot be matched.

The show opens with Beyonce's first #1 single as a solo artist, Crazy in Love, and for the next couple of hours she sings just about every hit she's ever released as well as popular tunes by Jill Scott, Gnarls Barkley, and of course Destiny's Child.

So I'm sure you're wondering what I didn't like about the concert. Normally I would have said Beyonce herself (lol !), but I can't seem to stop singing her praises over this one. It was actually the extremely long Destiny's Child medley that seemed to go on for at least a half hour. The music didn't seem to be as effective without all three ladies singing the signature songs that first introduced the world to Beyonce, Kelly, and Michelle. I kept expecting them to appear onstage and give us the reunion we've all been waiting for but it didn't happen.

Keeping the crowd entertained during costume changes and much needed breaks for Beyonce and her dancers were also a challenge for the creative team. Fans were subjected to somewhat boring musical "jam sessions" by the band. The most entertaining and creative filler came close to the end of the show when a beautiful slideshow of Beyonce at in-store appearances, red carpet events, and award shows was presented to the Jay -Z/Beyonce duet "Hollywood".

Choreographer Frank Gatson along with a team of assistants are to be commended for creating movement that showcases Beyonce's talent as a naturally gifted mover and the technique and range of her dancers. One beautiful moment was a pas de deux between a male and female couple at the beginning of Dangerously in Love.

Overall I give The Beyonce Experience 4 1/2 out of 5 stars. Thanks to my best friend Bennie I've already ripped the dvd to my iPod! Go out and purchase your copy or we may be subjected to a re-release...lol!

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I must have really been out of it last week because this small internet controversy surrounding a comment made by NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams during a piece about the 60th wedding anniversary of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip where he said "marriage was under attack" totally went unnoticed. It's debatable whether or not Williams was directly implying that the institute of marriage was under attack because of the legalization of gay marriage in America and abroad, right wing bigots to invoke fear and a negative reaction from conservatives and likely supporters of marriage equality often use this popular phrase. Think Bill O'Reiley...enough said.

Blogger Jeremy Hooper of Good As You.Org had this to say, "WHAAAA THE HUH??? "In an era where marriage is under attack"?! Really, Brian?! Because we're pretty sure that sort of terminology is less the stuff of balanced journalism and more that of far-right, social conservative code-wording. And even if the gays are not the specific destructive force to which Williams or his writer are referring in this intro, the hyperbolic idea that this institution is being "attacked" is one that is most often associated with anti-gay marriage campaigns. So at best, this was bad news writing; at worst, it's a prominent journalist and news outlet taking some irresponsible rhetorical bait. Either way, we're less than thrilled'.

Brian Williams issued a statement shortly thereafter to fan the flames from bloggers, gay activists and inevitably GLAAD (God I love this organization when they're right):

"I was the recipient today of several emails from well-intentioned people, telling me I was being attacked in parts of the blogosphere for something I wrote and said on the air in last night’s broadcast. It was a closing piece about Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip celebrating their 60th anniversary. I noted this accomplishment, especially in this era when, as I put it, marriage seems “under attack” as an institution. My meaning? Our national divorce rate, which is currently somewhere between 40 and 50 percent. Others took it upon themselves to decide that I was somehow attacking gay marriage. The simple fact is that nothing could have been further from my mind, as many others easily understood.

In fact, one comment shared with me today came from a respected member of the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association, who said, “It seemed to me he was talking about the sky-high heterosexual divorce rates. Marriage IS under attack — by straight people. It had nothing to do with the gay marriage movement.”

Sure Brian. GLAAD President Neil Giuilano summed it all up for me in his organizations response to Williams' statement:

Dear Mr. Williams,

Thank you for acknowledging the concerns raised by GLAAD and a number of online journalists today regarding your comments on yesterday’s broadcast about marriage being “under attack.”Your blog entry today confirms that your use of the phrase on last night’sbroadcast was not in any way intended to disparage gay couples, and that expression is appreciated.However, the primary issue is whether a phrase that has been used predominantly in an ugly anti-gay context can be used in another, tangentially related context (here, marriage in a general sense) without invoking the stereotypes that imbrue its common usage.

The phrase ”marriage under attack” — like “defense of marriage,” which you use elsewhere in your blog entry — is a meme designed and used by far-right anti-gay activists to scare people into opposing legal protections for gay couples. Media professionals who talk about marriage-related issues in their reporting should simply and factually discuss them, rather than uncritically repeating rhetoric calculated to make people feel threatened by and afraid of loving, committed couples.GLAAD’s work is rooted in the fundamental understanding that words and images matter. We expect that future NBC News reporting on marriage — both generally and for gay couples specifically — avoids these kinds of linguistic pitfalls.

Regards,
Neil G. Giuliano

1 comments | Wednesday, November 21, 2007




Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and millions of Americans will be traveling to be with their loved ones for the beginning of the holiday season. As I sat on a beautiful Boeing 757 on the way to New York this afternoon I closed my eyes and began to thank God for all of my blessings big and small. It would be incredibly easy for me to complain about all of the hardships I've endured throughout my life, but not today.

Today and everyday I want to learn how to praise God through my pain because it's only temporary.

Today and everyday I want to tell my family and friends how much I love and care about them.

Today and everyday I want to tell Trey, my partner and my friend how much he means to me.

Today and everyday I want to tell every person who has found the courage to live authentically from reading this blog how much it means to me that their courage has given life to my idea.

Today and everyday I want be thankful for all that God has done and all that he will do in the future.

Today I'd like to wish each and every one of you a wonderful Thanksgiving. Enjoy your time with family and friends and make sure you return on Monday, November 26th for new updates.

5 comments | Tuesday, November 20, 2007




I know I've been missing in action the past couple of days, but sometimes life gets in the way. I'm about to board a plane to Chicago and as soon as I land I plan on unleashing all of the posts that I've kept inside over the past few days. Meanwhile I want you to take a look at B. Scott's latest video where he address the haters. He brings up some great points about being comfortable in your own skin and the flack you'll sometimes receive from people who aren't able to do the same.

I love B. Scott because he's unapologetically black, gay, and fabulous. I'm sure I'll be addressing this video later on. Hang in there with me.

3 comments | Friday, November 16, 2007



Notorious homophobe Rev. Ken Hutcherson is up to no good once again. He recently spoke during a Microsoft shareholder meeting and declared himself as the company's "worst nightmare, a black man with a host of powerful white people behind him". Rev. Hutcherson has been at odds with Microsoft's support for their LGBT employees and overall LGBT equality in America for years.

Rev. Hutcherson reminds me of an adult schoolyard bully who justifies his actions by the word of God. It's clergy like Hutcherson that's turning people away from the church and giving real Christians everywhere a bad reputation. I always thought the "anointing" was a requirement to spread God's word, one look at the video above and it's quite obvious Huthcerson is everything but anointed.

Hi-five to Good As You

1 comments | Thursday, November 15, 2007




UNEQ Magazine has an exclusive interview with author Terry McMillan. The controversial author sits down to set the record straight about her marriage and divorce with Jonathan Plummer. Over the years Terry has been known more for her homophobic rants in the media towards her ex-husband and less for her literary talent. Surprisingly, this interview is less of what we've come to expect from Terry, yes she's still pissed off but for the first time it seems she's genuinely interested in closing this chapter in her life and moving on.

As we know there's two sides to every story and after having a chance to talk to Jonathan on several occasions and hearing Terry's side today, the truth is quite apparent to me. If you have about thirty minutes to spare out of your day, take some time and watch this interview. I promise it's not as painful as you might think. You can also listen to my interview with Jonathan Plummer here .

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I came across this HIV/AIDS prevention commercial on youtube last night by mistake and I've had conflicting feelings about it ever since. I'm all for spreading the word about the dangers of HIV/AIDS, especially in the black community, but the approach used in this video is a little troubling. It's titled the Down Low Brother PSA and it's a plea to closeted "bisexual" men to stop their behavior in an effort to stop the spread of HIV amongst black women.

The problem that I have is that it sends the message that closeted gay or bisexual men who also sleep with women are the cause of increased infections among black women when there is no statistical data to support this claim. For the record I don't approve of down low behavior, actually I find it deplorable, but until we create a world where people are free to be themselves without the fear of being attacked spiritually or physically the down low brother will continue to exist. Whatever happend to personal responsibility? It seems like we're always looking for somebody to blame and the down low brother has become the perfect scapegoat.

12 comments | Wednesday, November 14, 2007




I know it's been two days since I last updated my blog, but unlike other sites I don't believe in posting junk, so if I can't write from my heart then I don't write at all. Looking around the blogosphere it seems that there's not much to talk about or maybe I'm just bored with the content. I hope to have my mojo back soon and continue doing what I do best.

My life is about to go through another transition professionally and it has occupied almost all of my time. I just wish things were moving as fast as I'd like them to. Hopefully I'll be able to elaborate more over the next couple of weeks.

In the meantime I'd like you to check out a couple of links that were sent to me by a man who calls himself Black Masculinity X. I'm not sure why he decided to contact me or how he even heard about me. I was prepared to write a piece about him and his organization until I talked it over with Trey and he convinced me not to. I won't go into detail because I want you to watch the video and read his website for yourself and then draw your own conclusion. Let me forewarn you that what you're about to see is very graphic, so please don't open the links at work. I look forward to your feedback in the comments section.

An Open Message To Black Gay Men

Temple of Black Masculinity

0 comments | Sunday, November 11, 2007








Happy Veteran's Day ! I'm still in New York celebrating the release of my friend and fellow writer Trent Jackson's second novel Full Circle, so regular updates will resume on Tuesday. A special shout out to Shawn QT, Adam Irby, DJ, Marz, Dwight O'Neal, and Omar. It was a pleasure being in the midst of so much greatness. Check out the pics from the event above and by all means return tomorrow for business as usual.

7 comments | Thursday, November 08, 2007



"The reason why we don't believe there are black gay men in long-term relationships is because we don't see them, they're not out. But just because you don't see them doesn't mean they don't exist." - DJ on The Doo- Dirty Show, Thursday, November 8, 2007

So with that being said, I thought it was important to show beautiful images of SGL couples of color who are in it for the long haul. Couples who have proven through love, respect, and a lot of hard work they've been able to accomplish what some people in and out of our community believe to be impossible, monogamous and fulfilling long term-relationships. It can happen for all of us. Claim it and it shall be yours ! Have a great weekend until we meet again on Monday.

Peace and Love,
Darian

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New York City is going to be the place to be this weekend as L.A. author and friend Trent Jackson arrives to sign copies of his second novel Full Circle. The Trent Jackson camp has a big event planned on Sunday at Billie's Black uptown in the heart of Harlem. Trent will be on hand to promote his book, sign copies, and no doubt mingle with NYC's gay elite on Sunday from 3 pm to 7 pm. The boyfriend and I will be flying up on Sunday to support Trent and if you guys are in the New York area feel free to stop by, the more the merrier.

I'm looking forward to running into Nathan Seven Scott, DJ, Adam Irby, Jared Shuler, Shawn QT, Clay Cane and a host of other friends and fellow bloggers. If you're planning to attend you'll probably need the address and I've got it for you below. You can also listen to my interview with Trent here. See you there !

Billie's Black
271 West 119th Street (btw Frederick Douglass & St. Nicholas)
New York, New York 10026
Sunday, November 11, 2007
3-7 P.M.

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A young lesbian couple at Waukegan High School in Illinois were recently voted "cutest couple" by their peers and their yearbook carried a photo of the two embracing cheek to cheek, obviously overjoyed by their relationship and the honor bestowed upon them by their classmates. Well it didn't take long for right-wing pundit Bill O'Reiley to attack the character of these girls and what he calls "overt and inapropriate sexual conduct".

There is no other Republican pundit that gets my blood boiling like O'Reiley, but for the first time all I could do was laugh at how ignorant, archaic, and misleading his views are. He and President Bush are exactly alike because they rarely exercise common sense and they consistently cater to fear.

Watch the video for yourself here courtesy of Media Matters.

11 comments | Tuesday, November 06, 2007



Black gay men are incapable of being in long term monogamous relationships. If you believe that statement then you're not alone, but if you don't then you're probably just as upset as you were the last hundred times that you heard this fiction disguised as fact spoken aloud.

It seems that many SGL men that I have come in contact with whether online or in person are convinced that their sexuality will only afford them meaningless sexual encounters, random online hookups, and loneliness. The potential to be involved in a committed relationship doesn't seem like an option for some when you're black and gay, but embracing the fear that one will be alone for the rest of his life is a reality that I think too many of us easily accept.

Allow me to illustrate further. One of my readers, let's call him Roger (not his real name) began instant messaging me on Yahoo a couple of months ago with a dilemma. Roger is attractive, educated, employed, masculine, HIV negative and a single father of a beautiful adopted boy, who's been successful in every area in his life except dating . In a world where internet hook-up sites have replaced old fashioned human connections, the lies, trickery, fake profiles, grammatical errors, and diminished hopes of genuine connections on sites like Black Gay Chat and Adam 4 Adam are all too common.

This is a conversation we had last night word for word that prompted me to address a topic that I think many gay men are grappling with, the politics of dating and the reality of being alone.

Roger: "I feel like many black gay guys that I almost dated would rather I be HIV positive, than be a father...just thinking that floored me."

Darian: "Damn that's messed up."

Roger: "Its like when I tell a guy on-line I'm a single dad they get all freaked out..."

Roger: "And I never thought guys would have this reaction."

Darian: "Those are the guys that you want to run from anyway."

Roger: "Yeah, I know. But it sucks being alone, especially when I have women hitting me up all the time."

If I'd been paying more attention to that last line then what happened next wouldn't have surprised me as much. Enter the beautiful heterosexual female who's looking for a husband and a gay man who desperately wants to settle down.

Roger:"So she said she was looking for a husband and I mean she is FINE !"

Darian: "Are you attracted to women?"

Roger: "Like...if I was ever going to be with a woman she would have to be a Beyonce looking chick."

Darian: "Oh Roger !"

Roger: "Really. I could be with an average guy and be attracted, but I have no attraction at all to average looking chicks."

Darian: "I'm about to lose my mind over here!"

Roger: "I mean on a scale of gayness, I'm like a 9." But she is a doctor, professional, educated, great conversationalist."

Darian: "But you do know that she doesn't have a penis?"

Roger: "I know. That crossed my mind."

Darian: "Are you bisexual?"

Roger: "I have never had sex with a woman...ever. I have never deeply kissed a woman before either."

Darian:"Neither have I and that's probably because we're GAYYYYYYYYYY!"

Roger: "I never really had the desire to do so." I'm just going through it emotionally right now. I'm not confused at all regarding my sexuality."

Darian:"Why are you even considering dating this woman?"

Roger: "I'm just SO tired of the superficiality and selfishness that many gay black men exhibit."

Darian: "You've been meeting the wrong gay men."

Roger: "For years now."

Now I'm no Dear Abby or Carrie Bradshaw but I know what it feels like to be alone and how easy it is to invite the wrong people into your life just to fill a void . Trust me...I've been there.But I don't think the answer to Roger's problem is to ride off into the sunset with a beautiful female doctor whose ideal mate is a heterosexual male. But how do we keep Roger and other black gay men from making this mistake that ultimately affects more people than the person that made the poor decision?

How can we as black gay men find suitable mates who want to share their lives in a committed relationship with another person? Is this a priority for black gay men? Does gay=loneliness ? Are black gay men built to maintain long term relationships? Or is it just a white thing?

To be continued...

12 comments | Sunday, November 04, 2007



I finally did it. This past Saturday I found the courage to do something I should have done years ago. I introduced my mother and sister to my boyfriend. To some of you this might not be a big deal, but my family operates on a don’t ask don’t tell policy. They know at my age I've probably had many relationships but they've never asked me about any and I've never volunteered any information, we all silently agreed to leave the elephant in the room. But how long? I decided eleven years was long enough. At some point you get tired of presenting the image that makes everyone else comfortable but the person being forced to present the lie. It's not enough for me to write about living out loud if I don't actually do it.

So with my cousin set to get married this past weekend the stage was set to introduce Trey to my mother and sister who traveled from my hometown to Atlanta for the celebration. I wrestled with the idea of whether to tell them in advance that I would not be attending the wedding solo as I had for so many other family functions. I finally decided against it so upon meeting Trey they would have no choice but to be polite since he was a stranger and we were at a formal event...it worked.

We were both decked out in our Sunday best on a Saturday afternoon and unless the people around us were blind I'm sure they noticed I was glowing! I was with the love of my life and within minutes I would introduce him to my family and make a profound statement simultaneously. We are two people who are in love and committed to each other and because we value our relationship shame and secrecy cannot abide. That doesn't mean my heart wasn't beating the entire time because it was, but this had to be done.

So my mom was up first, we walked over to the chair where she was sitting and I introduced him and the warmest smile came over her face causing my heart rate to slow down a little, but the test would be my sister, the conservative thorn in my side, and I mean that in the nicest way possible. I'd already prepared myself for the ugly looks she would give us, (we're both notorious for reading people with our facial expressions) but I was praying that she would remember that she was a southern lady and at least be respectful. I introduced him and she smiled and shook his hand. Whew! All I could do was thank God that didn't get ugly. I have to commend my sister because I know it hasn't been easy for her to understand who I am given the conservative and homophobic environment we grew up in, but she's making progress.

I'll never forget this day because for the first time in my adult life I'm actually in a relationship with a man I think is worth introducing to my family. It's a relationship that we're building to last beyond a New York minute, my 6-month curse, and Danity Kane's career. Two down, one more to go. If Trey were a sports fan he and my dad would instantly bond. Note to self: Set the DVR to ESPN.

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I don't know if I should laugh or cry at this coming out story of a beautiful black lesbian girl. Her delivery in ths video is highly entertaining but her story if true is painfully sad. I couldn't help but wonder how many other people have endured a similar ordeal. Grab your bible and some holy water and play along.

1 comments | Thursday, November 01, 2007



I've been unable to escape this campaign against the popular fashion trend called "sagging" by Dallas based rapper "Dooney Da Priest". It's been written about on numerous blogs and even mainstream media outlets have begun to cover this story. While opposition to this widespread urban fashion trend is not new, Dooney Da Priest's approach to halt what he views as "unmanly" has caused quite a reaction from those within the gay community.

In lyrics to Pull Your Pants Up, the theme song being heard around the country on his campaign to shed light on the origins of sagging, the Christian rapper and member of Dallas mega -church The Potter's House under the leadership of T.D. Jakes had this to say;

You walk the streets with your pants way down low
I don't know
Looks to me you're on the down low
Some of ya'll think its gangsta to show your back
On behalf of real men we ain't feelin that
We don't understand man cause it shock's us
Can you make us understand why you show your boxers?
If you stand up straight
Bet your pants fall
Might as well walk around with your pants off

Chorus

Be a real man stand up
Is that your underwear man?
Pull your pants up
I'm a grown man on my grind trying to shine
How you gonna grind when your mind showing your behind

I think it's gay but some of ya'll think it's cool
Walking around showing your behind to other dudes
You look retarded, degenerate, and real odd
Yeah you hard but not hard to get a real job

If you allow yourself to get caught up in the hard beat of this song when you hear it then it's very possible to miss the homophobic punches by Dooney Da Priest in an attempt to scare the young men "straight" who've adopted sagging as their personal style. In one verse and a chorus he questions their masculinity, accuses them of being gay and on the down low and is personally offended along with all of the other "real men” at the sight of their boxers outside of their pants.

I guess when legislation fails to criminalize sagging and stern lectures from authority figures fall on deaf ears the only option left is to pull the gay card. What's sad is this campaign has good intentions but it relies on stereotypes and fear to achieve the desired result.

I'm not necessarily fond of sagging and that's mainly because growing up my father would have never allowed me to leave the house in such disarray. But according to Dooney Da Priest gay men are not "real men" and what better way to get a young man to do what you want than by emasculating him and attaching a word that is tied to everything a young black man doesn't want to be... gay. And this can even be said for some of us who identify as homosexual but struggle with internalized homophobia.

I wish I could say this song surprises me but it doesn't. This mentality has ingrained itself in the hyper-masculine minds of men of all races and it's reflected in hip-hop culture.

A word of advice to Dooney Da Priest, instead of using "gay panic" to convince young men that sagging is inappropriate try explaining to them the reality of the world we live in and how first impressions are lasting impressions. Explain to them that they'll have to work harder and run ten times faster than the next man in their Brooks Brother's suit and not their True Religion's if they want to claim their piece of the American Dream. Explain to them that their masculinity is not defined by their outer garments or their sexual orientation but by their character.

Simply put, just tell the truth and allow your personal prejudice to take a back seat.

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by Bishop Yvette Flunder from The National Black Justice Coalition October Newsletter:

I recently read with sadness the dialogue with an alleged former lover of Rev. Donnie McClurklin who claims he and Rev. McClurklin were actively intimately involved while Donnie was very verbal regarding his negative views about homosexuality.

I too remember the pangs of the double church life and also thought it was necessary. I hurt so for Rev. Donnie McClurkin because I have been there.

I have been angry with him for some of the places he has allowed himself to be manipulated into and for some of the things he has said and written. I have read with disgust Donnie's remarks about waging war against the Gay community, but I really know that this duplicitous rhetoric is because of the war that is raging inside of him.

Sometimes we just try to fake it till we make it. And then there are the harder questions that plague him and many of my beloved colleagues in ministry… How do you succeed as a gospel music artist, as a Pastor and as a Gay man? How can the choice be made to have the integrity to stand in your orientation reality when it will mean losing everything, especially when your principle income is not just based on your gifts but on the believability of your testimony of deliverance from being Gay? What a huge dilemma.

My challenge today is not to the churches and religious institutions that have rejected SGL folks or that have forced us to positions of invisibility and of don't ask don't tell. But instead why can't SGL folks and our allies build mega churches, mega organizations, and mega faith based enterprises? We are already building them for our abusers!

Why is so much of our talent, money and skill under girding and supporting institutions that are blatantly undermining our freedoms and attacking our personhood? Imagine what we could accomplish if we would bring those skills together to build something that is devoid of shame and supports the inalienable rights of all people.

Why contribute to our own debasement and marginalization? Why won't we support those who support us? It seems many of us would rather leave church than support affirming church. Is it fear? Is it greed? Is it internalized hatred, self-loathing, or internalized homophobia? Sure, aligning with an affirming ministry or faith-based community may bear a cost.

There may be some loss of prestige and even funds for a period of time, but isn't it time we pay the price for our own freedom the same way so many of our forefathers and foremothers did? Sister and Brothers, think of the continued price we pay in the loss of our self-esteem, integrity and the inevitable exposure.

Donnie could have had just as big a church in New York with a membership made up of SGL folks, allies, and people whose theology has evolved to the point that they do not need to hold to a narrow exclusionary Godview that limits the table of God to only a few. What stands in the way of our supporting our own? Is it the need for big church pageantry? Anonymity?

This is a call to stop the pain. I challenge SGL people of faith to support the churches and organizations that affirm us, and wait for the growth that our talents and abilities are certain to bring. We know the game and we are killing ourselves with it. Enough is enough. I pray that we will take seriously the prophetic call and challenge to not only seek to be liberated but to seek to liberate.

Pax Christi! (Peace in Christ)
Bishop Yvette Flunder

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Another month and another great issue of Atlanta Urban Life Magazine. This free monthly publication is Atlanta's source for all things gay from entertainment, travel, fashion, relationships, to health and wellness, this magazine has a little bit for everyone. And because I still get excited when I see my name printed next to my work I wanted to share an article I wrote on celebrities coming out (or not) in the current issue.

Originally the piece was titled What Are They So Afraid Of, it was later changed to "Who You Callin Gay?". I know...not my idea but I guess it works on some level. If you're in the Atlanta area you can pick up your free copy at these locations.Also not to be missed is the sexy Jensen Atwood on the cover of this month's Clik .


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